Posted on January 23, 2013 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 22 of 34 in the series Craig

Making Decisions: Craig Part Twenty Two 

Craig discusses some of the challenges he incurred on his job all of which are typical of a survivor of traumatic brain injury.  Making decisions is one of them. Along with making decisions he also struggled with amnesia and inhibitions.


Now, you said that you were having some amnesia even after you went back to work.  Can you give me some examples?  Please remember what you don’t remember. (Said with an ironic smile.)

With DHS there’s a lot of paperwork.  Of course the upper people in the system had no problem letting me know that they didn’t have the paperwork because  billing was done by the paperwork.   Incident reports – Procedural things, policy,  just everything was falling through the cracks.  My priorities, that was one of the things that, prioritizing I think was one of the things I really struggled with.

It was more important for me to make sure that people were taken care of than the paperwork turned in.  Unfortunately in the real world, the paperwork is important for the company because that’s how they get paid.  So, so that was an issue.

Interpersonal things with the bad managers:  I really didn’t tolerate people that didn’t do a good job, that have control issues, because we really are there to serve people, not to control people and I made life Hell on those.  They were very bad some of them.  Some of  them were sad.


In an analogous sort of way it was the same issues as not being able to tell a lady that she  didn’t look bad in that dress?

Correct and when it came to people’s lives, I had no bone to telling that you’re doing a crappy job.   I let  them  know: “I wouldn’t let you watch my children let alone some vulnerable adult.”

Expand on that a little bit. 

We had one specific manager.  She was a workaholic, so she was a workhorse. You need the workhorses in there, but in order for her to be a workhorse she had to control people and that’s the nature of the residential service.  You conform a lot of people to work with as few of staff as you can so that your profit and loss is good.

She was good at controlling people in fear and I no longer let her, let people be afraid of her for a while.  In the long run, after I left they kept her and she ended up on the news,  for exploitation.

Yeah, I saw things differently.  I saw it for what it was.  You treat people good and good comes of it.  You treat people bad, bad comes of it.  I’ve always lived that way but for some reason I compromised and before the brain injury, I could I could justify that because I’m giving, look this great beautiful home.


So one of the areas in which you were different at work was the inhibition; you were more open and frank, too frank perhaps in the way you interacted.  What about your own behavioral issues? 

Oh, yeah, the impulsivity was still (an issue.) I would get angry and I was never one to rile, but, the first couple of years anger would happen.  And most people get angry at some things, but I don’t think that was the issue.  It’s the perception change, from working for the company rather than working for the people because I truly was a company person.  My boss said something, it was like, “yes, ma’am.” It got done and I had no bones over doing it.

Ah, exit strategy, our company had an exit plan.  You need an exit plan meaning that you’re going to write somebody up enough times so that you can get  them  out of there.  And it could be just because, somebody didn’t like how they looked and, and if somebody didn’t deserve to be fired, I wouldn’t do an exit plan anymore.  So, I didn’t do those things that, that you have to do sometimes to keep a happy, smooth machine.

Making Decisions

When is came to making decisions did you have problems making decisions?

I had problems making decisions they wanted to.  I had no problems making decisions. I had problems making decisions based on how we did operate.  You’re a business owner.  If somebody came in and all of a sudden started operating differently than you’re used to it would be a problem for you.  And so it was a problem for them and I can’t believe they didn’t fire me.  She was sad that I left.  I mean, even.

Next in Part Twenty Three – TBI Survivors Can Be Better

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447